After the game, Dustin Brown talked about his hit on Anitti Miettinen and the ensuing five-minute major and game-misconduct penalties for a hit to the head. Brown expressed certainty that he did not hit Miettinen in the head.
BROWN: “If I had hit him in the head, he would probably be on the ice for a lot longer than he was. The league is looking at hits like that. I think that was a clean hit, from top to bottom. Shoulder on shoulder. He’s shooting the puck and he’s in a vulnerable position, maybe, but I’m not going to not make that hit. Actually, I hit him almost on the inside of the shoulder. If I hit his head, I’m not sitting here even arguing it, but a shoulder-on-hit, and I think he still had the puck when I made contact, so it wasn’t late or anything. But with the league being all over these blindside head shots, they’re probably going to make that call every time, because they’re all over the refs to make those type of calls. … It’s one of those plays where I think it’s a clean hit, and refs have a split-second to make a decision.”
Terry Murray was asked what type of explanation he got from referee Wes McCauley after the play.
MURRAY: “That that kind of hit is a lateral hit, blindside hit, blow to the head, and it’s one of those mandates that has been reviewed and talked about for several years now. Last summer, the rule was put in place, and that when you see that kind of a hit, it’s automatic.”
And did Murray think Brown hit Miettinen in the head?
MURRAY: “No, he didn’t. I’ve watched the replay a few times. They have a split-second to see the play happen, but Brownie actually comes around in front of the player and hits shoulder on the front of his shoulder. There was no blow to the head. You have an offensive player in a prime scoring area, shooting the puck. The defending player has to have the ability to get contact there. You have to defend against that kind of a shot. It’s a prime scoring situation. I thought he made a tremendous effort to get in front of the shooter and it comes right from the front. There was not, in my view of it, on the replay, a blindside hit.”
According to a Wild spokesman, referees declined to comment after the game. Murray said he was told, by McCauley, that McCauley would review the play after the game. While Brown is subject to supplemental discipline from the league, it’s also possible that the game-misconduct penalty might be rescinded.